Bertrand Russell and the Edwardian Philosophers: by Omar W. Nasim

By Omar W. Nasim

The writer demonstrates the numerous position that a number of the Edwardian philosophers performed within the formation of Russell's paintings at the challenge of the exterior international performed on the tail-end of an issue which raged among approximately 1900-1915.

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37 Secondary qualities are a species of ‘mental phenomena’, while 22 Bertrand Russell and the Edwardian Philosophers the primary qualities are a type of ‘physical phenomena’. In denying this traditional view one can either suggest that there is no difference and that both qualities are mental, as does Berkeley, or one can suggest they are somehow both non-mental, as do the British New Realists. Stout advances a third possibility in rejecting this traditional view. Stout’s 1904 is meant to show that the plain man’s view with regard to the qualities contains this third possibility.

Many of Britain’s brightest philosophers engaged Stout’s doctrine head on. This dialectic is what I have called the Controversy. 18 A proper understanding of this Controversy will provide an appropriate context for the treatment of the problem of the external world by many British philosophers at the time, including a context for understanding Russell’s solution to the same problem. It is not a coincidence that it was also within these years that Russell developed his idea of logically constructing the world.

71 Cook Wilson thinks such arguments for the introduction of mental presentations into our knowledge of the external world rest on an important presupposition that Stout overlooks. This presupposition is supposed to show the superfluous nature of positing apparent extension, or more generally, any mental sensible-presentation. This presupposition, at least with regard to visual extension, is the fact that we are in direct relation with the real facts of real extension and its real parts. 72 In other words, what is needed is an argument which shows that when the real extension has not changed, but some appearance of the thing has changed in experience, we can still explain this variation without the introduction of apparent extension.

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